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HONOR AND DUTY

A comic series by John Ostrander (2004, Dark Horse Comics)
Republic comics #46-48, 78
28 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

A senate guardsman struggles between loyalty to his family and to the Republic as he and the Jedi attempt to uncover an assassin before a critical vote.

                                                                                              

 

 

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Read on May 24th, 2014 in Trade Paperback, for the 2nd time  
    I think I went easy on this story the first time I read it. Or maybe I just don't enjoy the comic stories as much as I used to. Either way, I didn't find too much interesting in this one. The main character wasn't really likable, and though some people would commend his loyalty to the Republic, I think he was deluding himself as much as anybody else, and it wasn't worth the price. That's not to say he should have gone over to corruption like his brother, but he should perhaps have rethought his position by gaining more information and making some decisions that would help his family.  

 

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Read July 11th to 12th, 2007 in Trade Paperback  
    Another simple story, this time about the politics just before the Separatists fragmented the Republic. The Jedi don't figure into it much, and that's good, because Obi-Wan and Anakin are pretty inept. Since when can they not feel droids with the Force? They did a pretty lousy job protecting the Senator. Anakin didn't even sense his pain when he was being attacked on the balcony. Nor did Obi-Wan sense the betrayal of the senate guard who was "protecting" the senator. Neither sensed that the princess was an assassin.

Senator Simon Greyshade, newly appointed after his predecessor was murdered, represents a swing vote on an important issue, the issue that will eventually frustrate some member worlds so much that they will attempt to Separate from the Republic. He is entirely oblivious to the danger he is in, and the Jedi fend off one attack, the Senate guards another at a party he insists on going to. I must say the guards to a much better job than the Jedi.

One of the guards is Sagoro Autem, whose family were guards for generations before him. He has a problem with family life because he is loyal to the Republic, and nothing else. He sent his own brother -another former guard- to jail for taking bribes. As Venco points out, all the senators are corrupt (or almost all, anyway). It turns out that Venco is the one behind the assassination attempts, and he turns Sagoro's unhappy son against him by freeing the boy's girlfriend. In return, Reymet gives Venco his father's codes to the Senate guard tunnels.

Although the Jedi found out Venco's name, the guards do all the work, and actually get wherever they need to be before the Jedi do! Although he saves the senator, Sagoro ends up killing his brother, losing his wife, and getting arrested. But he allows his son, an accomplice to attempted murder, to go free, wondering if the Republic is really worth his loyalty anymore.

Five years later, Sagoro is a hero of a battle in the Clone Wars, though he credits the Jedi with being the heroes. All talk of the Jedi ceases, however, when they are summoned to be briefed by Emperor Palpatine and his new apprentice, Darth Vader. Vader kills one officer as an example of speaking out against the Emperor, and later, Sagoro is targeted for death. We are not given any reason for why he was to be removed from command, but presumably it is because he is too loyal to the Republic, even now. His old partner informs him of this, and he escapes. Vader hires bounty hunters to find Sagoro, but they fail only because Raymet is also disguised as a bounty hunter, and gets his father off the planet in time.

The artwork was broad with lots of colour. I liked the blue of the Senate guards. While I also liked the open space of many of the pages and panels, allowing things to grow large, mostly it had no detail at all. Some shapes only barely resembled people. In some places, however, the detail became stunning -was this the same artist? Some words appeared to be missing, too, and I'm not talking about the girlfriend who couldn't speak Basic.

Still, this was an interesting story about Honor and Duty, and how a guard's principles didn't change, but the foundation behind them changed instead.

 
   

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